By Marc Weinreich
July 25, 2012

Yi Jianlian will reportedly carry China's national flag for the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Yi Jianlian will reportedly carry China's national flag for the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, according to ChinaDaily.com:

Sina.com, one of China's largest news portals, claimed to have received a text message from Yi saying the announcement will be made official later today.

Xiao Tian, deputy chef de mission of the Chinese Olympic delegation, said that the carrier of the flag needs to possess, among other qualities, a sense of influence:

"He or she needs to have an impressive record in sports, be tall, handsome and influential."

Tian also said that China will "continue the tradition" of choosing a flag-bearer. Former NBA center Yao Ming carried the flag for China at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and in Athens in 2004.

The report goes so far as to say that a Chinese sports official confirmed that the chosen person will again be a basketball player.

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